Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Not everybody jumping onto the Grain Free train

Warning: Please consider my today’s comment in part as a reflection of the not so serious side in me, the humorous side of your Pet Food Examiner.
Not a day goes by anymore when we don’t find out about yet another pet food manufacturer introducing his grain free contribution to the market. Grain free is in. (See also on this blog my series
Pet food ingredient Grain: Controversy vs. chemistry). As a matter of fact, we may indeed soon get to the point when we don’t hear any more announcements because everybody will have it in their programs. Well, almost everybody that is.
According to
Pal-Item.com in Richmond, Indiana on 03/01/09 “The Wayne County Farm Service Agency has approved additional approved warehouse capacity for Harvest Land Co-op's new storage facility. The farmer-owned cooperative built additional grain storage at the Hagerstown Ag Center last year and has eliminated its storage facilities in the city of Richmond.
In January, Harvest Land Co-op was approved for a property tax abatement on the new facilities by the Wayne County Council, based on supplying grain to Hill's Pet Nutrition, which maintains jobs in the community. The 10-year abatement was granted on the 750,000-bushel grain bin and equipment valued at $970,000 and property valued at $1.5 million.
Harvest Land delivered 3.5 million bushels of grain to Hill's in 2008, up from 2.2 million bushels in 2001, according to Wayne County Council records.”
It all makes a lot of sense to me: Low cost ingredient for a high cost pet food with very close ties to the veterinary community. Corn instead of what our carnivores need: Meat. But what is good about it: It comes in 2 varieties: Vet recommended and if that doesn’t impress you, let’s use more force: Vet prescribed. Now you have no other choice. Sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it? And sounds like that trend, though to me personally not so desirable, is definitely here to stay for a while. At least I think they must be doing well since I didn’t hear of any bail-out requests from their quarters. And, to give the company credit, it has to be noted that according to their own declarations Hills “Nature's Best pet foods lets you treat your pet to high-quality … grains … .”
To round this up I wanted to get into it and talk more about the fine line of
Hills products, actually I was looking for a grain free diet. All I had intended was giving them credit. Well, I started searching their site and when looking at the first one I considered to be applicable to be grain free label, the d/d Venison & Green Pea Formula, I noticed that the first listed ingredient is Pea Protein Concentrate and the second ingredient is venison. Already it started the other way around than what the name states. Why does pet food shopping have to be so difficult? If I want venison food and buy food stating by it’s name that is venison food then I expect (rightfully so?) the first ingredient to be nothing but venison, either meat or meal and not some pea protein concentrate. Or is there a dictionary or industry guide telling me what I should look for when looking for venison? Is it after all maybe peanut butter? It is for that reason that I decided to stick with the brands I know and support and stay away from the scientific stuff mainly because it is probably way beyond my educational horizon and will take up too much of my time and energy. I may discover that I suffer ADD and it may impact my mood today. I still don’t know if they indeed offer a grain free formula, but to be honest, today I am not interested in whether they do or not. Maybe another day. There is nothing for us to be worried about. After all, according to them, their “Science Diet® brand pet foods are formulated for overall health and wellness” and represent “Superior Nutrition For the Lifelong Health of Your Pet®.” Their “Prescription Diet® brand therapeutic pet foods are available only from a veterinarian.” But don’t worry about that, after all they are “Clinical Nutrition to Improve Quality of Life™” of our pets.
Sources & references:
Hills Pet Nutrition, Inc.
This article mentions and includes Trademarks and Registered Trademarks owned by Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc.

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